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Fate Conquered - Book#3 Paperback

Fate Conquered - Book#3 Paperback

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Read the Synopsis

🌟 “The Fate Series: A Spellbinding Journey of Magic, Intrigue, and Destiny” 🌟


In the enchanting world crafted by Tara Lytle, magic weaves its threads through every corner. Readers have raved about this captivating universe:

“I LOVE this world that Tara created. This is an incredible read and an incredible finish to the series! I couldn't put it down. Highly recommend!"— Jeff Van, Amazon (🌟 5-star review)

“Loved the whole series. Very creative in how the whole story worked out. very entertaining." — Di, Amazon (🌟 5-star review)

Step into the desperate battle for survival, where a tapestry of divine design unfolds. Woven by the hands of the gods themselves, it bestows upon a young girl the coveted title of ‘the most powerful mage alive.’

🔮 As the war against Dregaitia fades, Isabelle returns to the opulent halls of the King’s castle—a celebrity hailed for her magical prowess that saved Aberron. Whispers of her deeds echo across her homeland and neighboring realms, each vying for her favor and seeking alliances.

🌌 However, a revelation shatters Isabelle’s world: her entire existence has been a meticulously crafted lie. The gods have waged their celestial feud for centuries, and now Isabelle is their chosen instrument—a weapon forged in divine fire.

🌟 Yet Isabelle resists. She yearns for her own identity, not one dictated by the whims of gods. As the world teeters on the edge of oblivion, the gods’ feud threatens all she holds dear. To save her loved ones, Isabelle must make a harrowing choice: join the battle of the gods or let the world die.

📚 The Fate Series is best enjoyed reading in order:

Fate Not Chosen

Fate Challenged

Fate Conquered

In this heart-pounding conclusion, Isabelle’s journey will test her limits, unravel truths, and ignite a war of the gods that transcends realms. Fate Conquered awaits. Buy Now! 🌠✨

Read Chapter One

I woke to the darkness of night, snuggled against Andrew, my mind racing despite the ache in my bones and muscles. I felt too agitated to sleep any longer.

My family and I, plus the First and Second Waves, were resting for the night in the Trivail forest with plans to continue to Carasmille when morning came. We had successfully beaten the Dregans and ended the war between us. It was time to rejoice and return to our normal lives.

Only, I didn’t feel much like celebrating—not after the war had cost me two precious lives, Stefan, my best friend, and Nathan, my adoptive father. I recalled how they looked in the Realm of Souls just moments ago when Isaac, a Fate over Fates, had shown them to me. They were happy and safe, and the grieving in my heart turned bittersweet.

I gently extracted myself from Andrew, trying not to wake him. Sitting up, all I could hear was soft breathing and snoring. The smallness of the shack we rested in forced us to sleep close. I waited a few heartbeats before I stood, then, using the light from the embers of the fire, hopped over my family members and away from the shack.

Head down, I walked aimlessly along a narrow path between the two-person tents outside the shack. My mind bounced between seeing Nathan and Stefan in the Realm of Souls and Isaac revealing that Haldren, a God over Gods, had created the dual bond I shared with the princes. Confusion and doubt dominated me. Haldren told me not to listen to Isaac, who said the same thing about Haldren. In reality, I couldn’t trust either of them, nor could I escape their powerful grasp. The most powerful mage alive, powerless. I hated being subjected to the whims of the Gods. I craved a solitude that would never be mine.

I walked into a group of soldiers standing watch at the end of my red heat dome. I stopped short before their fire.

“Lady Isabelle,” they said in surprise.

I backed up a few steps. “Sorry, didn’t mean to disturb.”

A soldier with long dark hair that rivaled Braidus’s silky locks set himself in front of the others, his silver earring flashing in the light of the flames. “You should be resting.”

I shrugged, a corner of my lips curving in a wistful smile. “Can’t sleep.” I turned to go, but he stopped me with a gentle hand on my shoulder.

“It is not safe for you to walk alone among us at night,” he insisted. “Not all men can be trusted.”

Another soldier commented with concern, “The commander will have our heads if we knowingly let her wander.”

“We should escort her back before we get flayed alive,” a third soldier said worriedly.

I wanted to laugh at how they feared my brother. I also admired how he instilled a healthy respect in his men. Joshua never threatened idly, always following through.

“Please don’t trouble yourselves,” I said as I dashed around the men and exited the heat dome I had created into the heavy snow. I needed a moment to myself, and I wouldn’t get it inside the campground. Within minutes, the instant cold had me shivering, and my teeth began to chatter. Wrapping my arms around my chest, I trudged into the woods, ignoring the calls of the soldiers.

I again pictured Nathan’s and Stefan’s smiles in the Realm of Souls. Haldren had said they were safe, and he appeared to be right. They were not truly gone, just in another realm. I tucked the thought close to my heart.

The bond thrummed with sudden fear. Andrew and Braidus had woken and discovered my escape. I sighed. So much for my solitude. Knowing they’d turn the camp inside out to find me, I turned around and headed back. The two princes stepped through the dome as I approached.

Andrew cursed and shivered. “It’s freezing out here!”

Braidus spotted me before his brother did. “Isabelle.” In two strides, he took me by the hand and pulled me out of the storm, the heat in the dome melting the snow off me and soaking my clothes.

The soldiers on watch looked relieved when they saw me. “You found her,” the long-haired one said, relaxing.

“Yes, thank you,” Braidus said to him.

I suspected he had alerted my family. I should’ve made myself invisible and then snuck out.

Andrew rounded on me. “What in the Gods were you doing out there?” I acutely felt his anger, worry, and lack of sleep.

I bristled. “I needed a moment to myself. I wasn’t planning on being gone long.”

“I put you in a deep sleep. You shouldn’t even be awake right now.” His eyes accused me of circumventing him.

Braidus wrapped his arms around me, pulling my back against his chest. “She’s soaked to the bone. Let’s get her back to our camp, warm her up, and get some answers.” His eyes darted to the listening soldiers.

Andrew raked a hand through his hair. “Fine.” He turned to the men on watch and thanked them for their service and for alerting him to my absence.

Braidus tucked me into his side as we returned to our shack. Andrew threaded his fingers through mine on the other side. Joshua, King Brian, Malsin, Henry, Dominic, and Falden sat around a roaring fire. I felt a flash of guilt for waking them all and then annoyance and frustration that I had to be watched.

Braidus guided me close to the fire. “Warm up.” He and Andrew sat on either side of me and squished me into their sides.

From across the fire, Joshua scowled at me. “You know you’re not to go out on your own at night. Why did you disobey me?”

I took a breath, then exhaled, trying for patience when I felt anything but. “I’m suffocating with all this attention on me. I just needed an hour to myself. I left the camp so I wouldn’t be near any of the soldiers. It’s a blizzard out there, so I didn’t think anyone would follow me. I’m sorry to have bothered everyone.”

“This prolonged snowy weather is unnatural.” King Brian frowned, looking upward. “I pray to the Gods that Aberron doesn’t suffer from it.”

Joshua scrubbed a hand down his face and sighed. “I know you hate having all these eyes on you, but it can’t be helped. Trouble clings to you more than to the princes. Even a short walk to the edge of your heat dome on your own is dangerous. My men have just battled for their lives and won. They’re ready to celebrate, and you might be too hard to resist.”

“Yes,” the other men agreed.

I gestured to the tents behind me. “Everyone here saw me defeat the Dregans by myself. You think they’d have the guts to try something with me?”

“The unthinkable always happens to you,” Joshua said, undeterred. “It’s been proven over and over.”

I couldn’t argue.

Andrew reiterated his earlier thoughts. “I put you in a deep sleep. You weren’t even supposed to be dreaming—”

I interrupted him. “I didn’t circumvent you. Isaac pulled me from sleep to talk to me.”

“You could’ve started with that!” Henry exclaimed.

Andrew’s green magic flared the second I’d mentioned the Fate. “Did he injure you?”

My heart clenched as my mage mate’s concern increased.

I shook my head. “No. He tried to sway me away from Haldren by giving me a gift. I saw Nathan and Stefan in the Realm of Souls.” My eyes misted and my throat thickened at the memory.

I read the surprise in the men.

“Is that all?” King Brian asked, his blazing-blue eyes searching mine.

I glanced at my mage mates. “I’m told Haldren created the Amora bonds I share with Andrew and Braidus and nearly killed himself to do it. I did not get an answer as to why.”

I stiffened as a double sense of unease reached me through the bond. Like me, they didn’t enjoy being subject to the whims of the Gods.

Malsin’s eyebrows rose. “If your bond has the strength of the God over Gods, it explains why Amora couldn’t break it.”

“It also explains his insistence on me courting them,” I said offhandedly.

“For what purpose?” Dominic asked, rubbing the stubble on his chin.

“And to risk death to create it?” Henry asked, sounding astonished.

Everyone shrugged.

The guilt that now came through the bond hit me hard. Then it was abruptly pulled back. It happened so quickly I couldn’t tell which prince it had come from. Andrew and Braidus wore matching expressions. Both had been rather silent on Isaac’s revelation concerning our bond. Perhaps one of them knew something and didn’t feel inclined to share.

King Brian spoke, his eyes on the darkened sky again. “Well, now that Isabelle’s been found, I’m going to get some rest.” He went back to his bedroll and lay down. This prompted the others to return to theirs.

My mage mates turned to me, clearly expecting me to settle in beside them.

I shook my head. “You two rest. I’m staying here.”

My heart tugged as they explored the bond to read the whisperings of my heart. I made no point of disguising my feelings. I was tired of divulging all I knew when they wouldn’t return the favor. Andrew hadn’t even told me he had a brother. I’d only found out after Braidus had kidnapped me. No one had told me Haldren was behind Braidus playing the villain. I’d had to learn that from Isaac. Finally, how many Gods-forbidden times had I asked them why Haldren and the Gods had taken an interest in me and they’d refused to tell me when they knew the answer? I was done ignoring the fact that the princes, Joshua, King Brian, and the Gods kept secrets about me. I needed to know the truth concerning my importance.

I felt another stab of guilt that was quickly swallowed up with irritation from both.

Andrew gathered me into his arms. “You’re exhausted and making problems out of nothing.” He pressed his lips against mine in a soft, searing kiss. My eyes shut. I didn’t catch the glow of green magic putting me to sleep.

I woke to the rustling of my family members. Dawn had come.

Andrew held out a mug to me. Taking it, I leveled my eyes at him. “Your distraction kiss was clever, but I won’t fall for it again.”

A corner of his lips curved up. “You feel better, though, don’t you?”

I did, but I didn’t care to admit it. “Still, it won’t happen again.”

Andrew chuckled, reading my unspoken truth. “As long as you quit getting up in the middle of the night.”

“I make no promises.” Nights had turned unfriendly, and I’d gladly avoid them if I could.

Andrew frowned and turned to Malsin. “We have got to get Isabelle’s nightmares under control.”

Malsin nodded over the rim of his mug. “Oh, I know it. As soon as we’re back in Carasmille, I plan on doing a full health assessment with all my books, tools, and medicines at my disposal.”

I shrugged. “Fine.”

Andrew smiled. “Excellent.”

I sipped my drink, but inside, my silent quest simmered. It was time for the secrets to end. One way or another, I was going to find out why I was so important to the Gods. Since my family repeatedly thwarted me on this, I would start by going to the temple in Carasmille. Hopefully, the priests could give me a little more insight.

Braidus sat down beside me. He bent his head until it touched mine and spoke quietly. “You’re awfully tense. What are you conspiring?”

“Nothing.” No way would I tell him my plans. He and the rest of my family would try to stop me. I forced my mind to go blank, chasing away all thoughts of visiting the temple so Braidus or Andrew would not know.

“Liar.” He pressed a kiss to my temple.

I looked up into his eyes. “Don’t think you can charm your way into my thoughts. They are mine and mine alone.” I spoke lightly, but the conviction behind my words rang loudly.

He backed off. “Duly noted.”

I sighed inwardly at the concern I felt emanating from him. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so firm, but I didn’t want to be circumvented this time.

Finished with my drink, I helped disassemble camp and prepare for departure. We planned to ride to Thimbleton, rest there for the night, and make the last leg to Carasmille the following day. With Thimbleton in mind, my thoughts turned to Adel. She and the other residents of Saren had been sent there to wait out the war. Had she gotten word of Nathan’s passing?

While our family collected our horses, I sought out King Brian. “Has Adel been told about Nathan?”

“No,” he said, his expression grim. “I felt it was best I tell her in person. Should I have sent word to her already?”

I shook my head. “No. I think Adel will take it best if she hears it from a friend—or me.” I felt a weight on my shoulders at the prospect, but she had to know. I had promised her that Nathan would be safe. Would she resent me for breaking that promise—for not being strong enough or smart enough to save him? I had a strong urge to run in the opposite direction so I wouldn’t have to face her.

King Brian surveyed me. “I won’t put that burden on you, Isabelle. You carried us through this war and have suffered enough.”

My chest warmed with gratitude. “I appreciate that. Thank you.”

He nodded. “I plan to address the Aberronians from Prastis, the Aberron Cliffs, and Saren when we arrive at the Thimbleton outpost. They need to know what they’re coming back to.”

“Of course,” I said.

Once everyone was mounted and ready to go, King Brian gave the order to march out. With a flick of my fingers, I removed the heat dome over the campground. In seconds, a dusting of snow coated us. The sky had dumped a good amount during the night, on top of what we already had, and it continued to fall in blizzard-like conditions.

With limited visibility, we couldn’t see the road to keep us on track as we moved out of the forest. The horses and wagons struggled. I read the worry on many faces and did my best to protect everyone by creating a ribbon of heat above their heads to keep them dry. Joshua enlisted the help of the soldiers who knew the trail well. Everyone couldn’t help but remark that this winter had been the harshest one they’d seen. The trees around us groaned from the weight of snow and ice. Branches littered the ground, and the sound of cracking limbs reverberated throughout the forest. The first two hours into our ride felt like five.

“The snow is too deep. I tire quickly,” Nisha complained.

I relayed this to King Brian. “We cannot continue like this.”

“Agreed.”

He called for a halt. We hopped down, giving our mounts a rest. My family gathered.

“Options?” King Brian asked.

“We need a large shovel,” Henry said.

“Very funny,” Falden remarked dryly.

“I’m not kidding!” Henry exclaimed. “Why can’t we create one with blue magic and Isabelle use her yellow magic to push it? Something like this.”

He opened his palm and a syrupy blue substance appeared, then morphed itself into an upright rectangle. Then the edges began to curve, the middle bowing in response. He set it on the ground, keeping his fingers on it to prevent it from falling over.

“Give it a little wind, Isabelle.”

I did as he asked, and Henry let go as the shovel surged forward, pushing the snow aside and creating a little path.

His face brightened at his success. “See? Now we just make it on a larger scale.”

King Brian grinned proudly at Henry. “You have your mother’s inventive mind. Let’s try it.”

Using Henry’s model as a guide, I created a shovel large enough to make a path for us. Then I gathered a strong wind to push it forward. Snow billowed out and piled on the sides of the road.

Nisha whinnied in approval as we got going again. “Much better.”

Soldiers yelled not far behind me. “Watch out! Out of the way! It’s coming down!”

I turned in the saddle to see a mature fir tree fall toward the men on the road, the top half crashing into another fir. The ground shuddered as the force pulled its roots out of the ground, dirt and snow flying all about. Horses screamed and men shouted as they fought for control. An agonized yell rang out.

Gods forbid. I jumped into the air to help. A soldier lay in the snow, his leg at an odd angle. He clutched his shoulder, his face tight with pain. Beside him, a horse reared up and whinnied, kicking its front hooves out.

Calm the horse, I told Boomer, wanting to prevent the animal from injuring herself or those around her. Ribbons of green magic shot from my hands, penetrating the mare. She stilled, her breath coming in heavy pants. A soldier rushed to grab the reins.

I dropped to the ground and placed my hands on the injured soldier. Heal. Boomer barked, his tail wagging.

“Thank the Gods for you,” the soldier said, his voice thick with pain.

I smiled into his eyes, doing my best to infuse him with tranquility. “You’ll be good as new in a moment.”

The ground rumbled, and I heard another tree come down. Curses rang through the forest. The winter storm had turned the trees into frail twigs. We had to get out before it got worse.

A red mage cut through the fallen tree to clear the path. Once I finished mending the soldier, I helped move the rest of the trunk out of the way.

Joshua appeared on the other side of it. “Everyone all right?”

A chorus of yeses answered him.

“Good.” His eyes found mine. “Braidus went on ahead to clear the path. The wind is picking up. We need to hurry.”

“I’ll see what I can do to help him.”

Jumping back into the sky and passing my family, I followed Braidus’s tracks, blinking furiously to see through the snow. Around a curve, I caught sight of him. He hovered in the air, his hands directing the shovel.

“Is everyone all right?” he asked.

“Yes.” A stronger wind pressed into our backs. Branches still cracked and fell from all directions. Just as I threw a rainbow shield over our heads, a thick limb came down with a heavy thud and slid off onto the ground.

Braidus frowned. “We should have remained at the campground until the storm abated.”

“Nothing we can do about it now,” I said. “Better we keep moving than try to turn back.”

“Indeed.”

Together, we worked to remove the debris and shovel the snow. The wind blew the snow sideways, lessening our visibility and coating the road with another layer. The air crackled and snapped, and the ground shuddered as trees toppled. My heart tugged as Braidus drew from my stores to keep his yellow magic fueled. We recharged while in the air, one after another, to keep going.

Sometime later, when we reached the end of the forest, Braidus and I looked at each other in dismay. We could not see even a pace in front of us and now had no trees lining our path.

“If memory serves me right, I think we just go straight,” I said, thinking of my first ride to Thimbleton with Andrew. “It’s not too far.”

“Straight isn’t as easy as it seems in these conditions,” Braidus said. “We could end up going in circles.”

“The road turns into cobblestone the closer we get to the city,” I said. “We just need to find that.”

Braidus gestured to the shovel. “We cannot reach the ground with this. We will never see the stone.”

I frowned, knowing he had the right of it. “What if I torched what the shovel isn’t reaching? We could do patches after so many paces to see if we break through to cobblestone.”

“It’s that or we make camp here until the worst passes,” Braidus said.

We turned when we heard our family and the First and Second Waves approaching. Half the men trudged on foot and led their horses, some stumbling and slipping. There was more cursing. Everyone looked bedraggled and defeated. My heart went out to them.

Falden’s gray gelding collapsed as Falden walked alongside him.

“Rhys!” Falden cried.

I rushed forward to help. Putting my hands on the horse, I activated my green magic to search for the problem. Thankfully, I saw no major issues. “He’s all right. Just tired.” I gave him a boost of energy.

“Thanks, Isabelle.” Falden coaxed the horse into a standing position once more.

Nisha snorted at the gray gelding. “Weakling.”

Falden heard him as well. “Hey! Rhys is a great horse.”

Nisha shook his head vigorously, the snow in his mane flying in all directions. “He is a pompous prancing pony.

Falden gasped with indignation. “How dare you.”

I put my hand on Nisha. “Be nice, please.”

Nisha only snorted at me and turned away.

I apologized to Falden. “I’m sorry. Nisha has hated your horse since he laid eyes on him at the Sorrenian and saw he had a better stall.” I lowered my voice so Nisha couldn’t overhear. “I think it’s jealousy.”

Falden scowled. “He better not try anything on Rhys.”

“He won’t,” I said. “I’ll make sure of it.” Turning to the others, I said, “I’m going to give everyone a little bit of energy. I’ll be right back.”

I rose above everyone’s heads and went down the line, sending smoky green ribbons of energy to the men and their mounts.

The men cheered. “Lady Champion!”

When I returned, Braidus said, “Father has decided to continue.”

I nodded in grim determination. “Let’s do it.”

We pushed forward, praying to the Gods that we were headed in the right direction. Along the way, I torched patches of ice, searching for the ground underneath. Sometimes, I found the dirt and wagon-wheel ruts of the road. Other times, I found grass, prompting us to correct our course as best we could. I figured Thimbleton was big enough that we’d find it sooner or later.

“Aha!” I shouted in excitement when I found cobblestone.

Braidus flew over and gave me a quick hug. “Good job.” His relief enveloped me like a warm blanket.

“We’re close enough now that I think I can torch the rest of the way,” I said. I didn’t want to lose sight of the stone for nothing.

I read the same feelings in him as he nodded. “Just be careful with your levels.”

With renewed energy, we cleared the path, our arduous journey ending quicker than expected when Thimbleton came within sight. Every building was blanketed in snow, and the heavy, darkening clouds cast the city in shadow, giving it a gloomy, uninviting appearance. Braidus and I waited near the closed portcullis for no more than ten minutes as the rest of my family and the First and Second Waves arrived. We mounted our horses as the gate was raised to allow us passage inside.

We’d made it. Finally.

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